Contact: Morgan Kelly
Caption: New research based at Princeton University shows that the trick to predicting when and where sea animals will relocate due to climate change is to follow the pace and direction of temperature changes, known as climate velocity. The researchers compiled 43 years of survey data on the movement of 128 million animals living around North America. Shifts in the animals' depth and latitude correlated with regional-scale fluctuations in ocean temperature. On average, changes in temperature moved north at 4.5 miles per decade and species shifted an average of 5 miles north per decade. But species-specific movements varied greatly. For example, lobster in the northeastern United States (above) moved north at a pace of 43 miles per decade. Nearly half of all species studied moved south.
Credit: Video by Leah Lewis and D. Richardson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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Related news release: Movement of marine life follows speed and direction of climate change